The Portal

Ah, emails.  If you’re like me, you’re obsessively checking yours every few minutes or so, hoping against hope that buried along with the spam will be that one message, that one item that will pay off all your long years of drudgery and toil.  Or at least, there’ll be something that could potentially pay it all off.  A theater letting you know they’re interested in producing one of your play.  A competition letting you know a script of yours has advanced to the next round.  The happy news that you’ve been cast in a project – or at least that you’ve landed an audition which may conceivably get you cast in a project.

Well, I didn’t get any of those this week.  But I did get an email letting me know that I might potentially be getting emails in the future about landing an audition, which might, if all the stars align, lead to an email letting me know I’ve been cast in something.

You see, along with the rest of my fellow union members, I received an email notification last week from Actors Equity letting me know that the member portal on their website has been redesigned.  Part of this meant having to recreate an account on a website where I’ve had an account for the past seventeen years (took me a moment to do the math there – also, um, crap).  There was much rigamarole of sending links and approval codes from myself to myself, which, again, could only happen if I already had an account on the very website where I had an account.  But at last, the final code was entered, the final button clicked, and I beheld the new Actors Equity website.

It’s…basically the same stuff as the old website?  With different, busier graphics, which are honestly hard for me to wrap my head around at the moment?  I’m sure I’ll figure it out in time.  The important thing about the member portal on the website isn’t how it looks, so much as what it does.  There’s lots of content – reference pdfs for various kinds of theatrical contacts, etc – but most importantly at all, it provides the listing (and nowadays, the sign-up links) for Equity Performer Auditions.  The required calls that producers have to hold for any new theatrical productions.

They’re finally happening again.

The EPAs obviously stopped in March of 2020, as all other theatrical activity stopped.  And even has theater has “come back, baby” (see any number of my previous posts for why I dislike that phrase), those EPAs have still not been reinstated.  There have been self-tape submissions (whether they’ve been seen by anybody or not is another story), and private auditions secured through agent submissions, but the in-person calls haven’t taken place.  The Equity offices have remained idle.  Speculation as to all manner of untoward motives – “they’re using it as an excuse to get rid of EPAs!” “they’re trying to purge membership!” – has rushed in to fill the void.

Well, no more!  The portal is up and running, the EPAs are scheduled, and the first of them have started taking place.  Actors in front of live casting personnel to try and secure work in projects actually coming to Broadway and off-Broadway.  And while, from the reports I’ve heard from friends of mine, the new procedures of these calls still haven’t been perfected yet – there’s new COVID protocols, and inexperienced folks trying to implement them, and chaos all around – it’s undeniably exciting.  I can’t wait to get back in the thick of things.

So I navigated the shiny new portal, to look at the audition listings.

And there’s nothing remotely suitable for me until after New Years.

Oh, well.  I’m sure there’ll be plenty of emails awaiting me in 2023.

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